childhood abuse

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    Community Voices

    Progress, parental volatility and neglect/isolation as trauma

    Hello. I wanted to post some more thoughts today.

    I was out walking around today and noticed things had changed a bit already. I think it is because I have been coming on here and talking about my past along with the flashback I had. It wasn't really clear to me before that I had never talked about these things so frankly to others who may have experienced similar. Basically, I had only really told friends who hadnt had the same intensity of issues or my ex who was just a blackhole for my emotions to get sucked into.

    It was apparent to me that my deep hatred for what my ex had done to me eased and was replaced with some level of human sympathy. Although I'm still not interested in talking to her, I feel less distraught when thinking about what happened between us. I feel like I am sensing slightly more of my surroundings, like the smell of a particular food near my apartment that I had not noticed before. Another thing that happened is that I could sense more clearly why I had my flashback and it had to do with fears of failure from earlier in my life.

    I had time to think about this fear of failure and realized a lot of it came from particular experiences in my childhood. My mother was a very cruel disciplinarian and often shouted things at me when I failed. At times she would call my a copout who would get nothing done in life with my attitude and that I was headed for failure. I realized the experience of an adult shouting this at me in anger during weak moments of my life took a heavy toll. The intense isolation she imposed on my childhood combined with over a decade of this kind of treatment was likely my initial trauma.

    Thinking about these sorts of ways she treated me makes me realize how diseased her mind really was and is. She stored up all of her discontent with herself and all of her anger, then poured it over me in a wild attempt to "help me". Of course, if she couldn't even come close to helping herself how was she ever going to help me? I began to grow and triage the moment I stopped living with her, and to this day believe that it was the best decision of my life. Thank God that my parents divorced when they did or else I would have lived with her longer.

    It has become apparent to me that I am unsustainably asocial. I spent an enormous amount of time during my formative years alone. When I think back to it, it seems like this endless expanse of isolation. My mother isolated me socially when I was younger due to the chaos of her own mind and her selfishness. Then I spent a long time outside of formal education due to my emotional volatility caused by this. Overall, I was never socialized like most people and spent huge spans of time by myself, thinking.

    To this day it's hard for me to socialize, although I am an empathetic person. Probably too empathetic, and this causes me to be easily used by others. I think being used and abused by my ex was a grievous rewounding that spurred on my recent seemingly PTSD stress responses. It's not a totally bad thing in some sense because now I at least know for sure that something is wrong in my head. However, I just wish it weren't so hard for me to connect with others at this point as it is really holding me back.

    I believe that the isolation of my youth may have been my greatest trauma. Even with how horribly my mom treated me emotionally and at times physically, this devouring void of loneliness and despair seems the most frightening for me to think about. I had more of these flashbacks when my abusive ex and I broke up, and I realized then that there was some kind of trauma in me from being alone. I could feel this creeping, cold fear toward being alone again. When I was young and removed from education I had no one to rely on emotionally. My brother had his own life and my father was simply too calloused from his own trauma. This experience of being totally and absolutely alone, no friends or romantic interests or people to make mistakes along seriously harmed my mind, I think.

    When I think back to this isolation I experienced first with my mom and then essentially with no one, it feels like I'm looking deep into an endless void. It's possible that my mind blocks out the memories of my thoughts and feelings from that time because they are too grim and stressful. I spent all day reading when I could, and the rest of the time I was probably disassociating. Who knows what kind of strange stress hormones and bodily chemicals were coursing through my veins due to this unnatural isolation. My life was like that so long that it was a miracle when I one day got me high school equivalence education and moved on from there some time in my twenties.

    It sounds weird when I put it like that, trauma from isolation. I guess it makes me wonder how someone can even be traumatized by this when usually people have trauma from violence or more direct things like that. However, I really do think it's true. Maybe it is just an unusual way to become traumatized because humans are so social. I was not and still am not that social, though. When I think about my chronic isolation from others, that even includes my adult life, it makes me sad and shameful. It always feels like other people find socializing to be the most natural thing in the world.

    Chronic isolation does something terrible to the mind. Although I have online friends and such these days, I always prefer to recede into my own head. People stress me out and I often don't have a filter or become very tired from physical excitement when around others. I think for a long time my mind blocked out how stressful other people are to me, and I can sense this more clearly these days. Spending so much time by myself and most likely being neglected as a child caused me to get locked up in my own head at all times, which does not seem to have gone away in my adulthood.

    I can't ever seem to stick to the same group of friends or social circle for a long time. Really, I have only had one semi-persistent social circle between my teenage years and adulthood. I never thought about it before, but this is probably a symptom of my mistreatment. It just tends to happen for some reason or another, I become established among some group of people and accepted. Then I find a reason to disconnect from them and delete my social progress. My ex who probably has CPTSD did this in even more extreme ways, but I realize now that it has defined my social life, too.

    It's very likely that these wild swings between isolated neglect and intense emotions that my mother (and father to a far lesser extent) put me through damaged my ability to interpret social reality. I am very sensitive to the emotions of others likely as a survival mechanism to interpret the chaotic emotions of my mother. It is also very likely that these cruel emotions she hit me with as a child extended into my infancy, and I often wonder if this was where her abuse of me began. If that were the case, it would make even more sense how I ended up this way. Of course, I can't remember these things and only have suspicions.

    I really wish I weren't like this and I have to say that I daydream at times about getting emotional revenge on my family. My brother is the only one who tried to protect me from things, although my father tried to make it up to me later in life as well. I don't think that I love my mother and I don't accept most of my extended family as family. I was clearly abused by a narcissistic monster as a child and almost no one did anything about it.

    Although I am glad that I have progressed emotionally as much as I have, I realize that I have been barely holding on for years. It's dangerous for me when the pressure grows as I seek out abusive familiarity or abuse my own body to fill any effort gap. It's simply unsustainable and I need to find a better path forward.

    Thanks and have a good day.

    #PTSD #CPTSD #Abuse #EmotionalAbuse #Trauma #ChildhoodAbuse

    1 person is talking about this
    Community Voices

    Can I share my drawing about my childhood sexual abuse?

    I’d like to share a drawing about a very vivid memory I had as a child. I have a very hard time putting feelings into words. So I googled people useing art therapy to heal. My drawing of my memory is very.. specific, detailed, drawing of a male body can probably figure out what it is.. drawing this is scary, but it is a relief of this weight off my shoulders... It’d be nice to connect with someone who’s gone through similar things. Because it makes me anxious not having anyone to talk to. But I don’t know if I should share my drawing. Please help? #ChildhoodSexualAbuse #Csa #Anxiety #CPTSD #PTSD #ChildhoodAbuse

    3 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Good morning, Happy Friday!

    <p>Good morning, Happy Friday!</p>
    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    The day I left my toxic and emotionally abusive marriage

    I was married for 17 yrs when I decided to leave. My X was diagnosed with #Bipolar1Disorder and #SchizoaffectiveDisorder . He was in and out of hospitals. When he went off his meds he was scary and emotionally abusive. We have a 19 yr old son together. He was taken at 7 by CPS. He was not abused in any way shape or form. Eventually he went to live with my X brother. Our marriage went down hill from there. He became manic again and he would gaslight me and make me think I was crazy. On June 27th 2018 I had a therapy appointment at 1pm and he was not going to take me cause he knew we would talk about him. So I called my friend and she said she would take me. I told him and for some reason I got into the car with him. He started to speed so I told him to pull the effing car over he did. I grabbed the phone and left. I called my friend she called the police and the rest is history. I found my strength, worth and courage to leave. It will be 3 yrs January 6 that I’ve been divorced. #MajorDepressiveDisorder #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder and #PTSD #ChildhoodAbuse #narcisticabuse

    3 people are talking about this
    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    The Pandemic caused me to be a hoarder and a slob

    #Anxiety #Depression #LymeWarrior #TraumaticBrainInjury #traumatic grief

    My house looks like a slob lives here. I have paperwork all over in every room. Just looking at it hurts my brain. I try and clean it up or organize it but I end up just moving papers in a different spot.

    I get into bed at night with trash on my bed. I have to move it all just to make room for myself. I lay there praying to God and asking why? Why did all those people have to die. I cry myself to sleep praying to see my loved ones that were taken since the pandemic started.

    I had just gotten my life back after a 14 year battle with co-infections from Lyme disease. I finally was leaving my house, seeing my friends, shopping. I had 9 months of somewhat of a life back then I was forced back into my house. Then in 2020 I got bit again and im back fighting for my life again. New symptoms to deal with. I grieve the life I had before.

    What I lost besides loved ones was myself. I don’t know who I am anymore. My first grandson was born during the lock down. I was able to see him 6 feet away 3 days after he was born. It was like I was looking at someone else’s grandchild not mine. I was not aloud to hold him because I can’t get a flu shot. The last one almost killed me.
    I found out later everyone was holding him except me. This was so hurtful and my son allowed it to happen. It started to become to painful for me to even go to see him. What was the point if I had to watch from 6 feet away. I still do not feel any connection to my grandson and that is my son’s fault. He is 2 years old now. We aren’t aloud to babysit him or take him anywhere by ourselves but her parents are. I pray to God I’m still alive when and if another grandchild comes.
    Funny thing I was aloud to hold my friend’s grandchild with no problem. When I was able to hold my grandson I was in a hazemat suit he was 8 weeks old. No one else had to wear one except me. Now that’s personal. I had 5 friends become grandmothers and they posted it on Facebook no one was wearing a mask or a haze mat suit. I’m not even aloud to show pictures of him to my friends because he’s not old enough to consent to it.

    I had to go into therapy because of this behavior which was personal and not due to the virus. At least that is what I was told by my therapist. My heart is still broken and it’s still beating but for what. ?

    This is not the way it was supposed to be. This is not the life I wanted or imagined. I am just existing.

    I know hoarding crafts that I will never make, jewelry I will never make it has to stop. A lot of stuff I bought most is now expired. Did I throw them away? Nope.

    I could keep writing about all I have lost but everyone has lost. So there is no point I guess. I did lose my Mom to the virus watched her die over zoom for 9 weeks. Then I found my best friend, my brother dead in his apartment. I think he was murdered but I can’t prove it. Now I deal with a fractured sternum and PTSD from that.

    Hoarding is caused by lost, trauma, stressful life events, a brain dysfunction. I’m not putting anymore labels on myself. I just wish I could stop it. I wish I could afford someone to help me get organized as I no longer can do that. I can’t afford much of anything. I sell things to make money but it’s not enough. I’m too sick for a real 9-5 job. I do have a on line wholesale shopping club with weight loss products but that’s still not enough. I’m worrying myself to death literally.. I need extensive dental work due to lyme. I was scammed out of my savings for that. More loss. It effects me emotionally, physically, mentally.

    I’m just rambling now it’s late here and my brain is tired. Im actually getting tired of living because it’s just so damn hard. I’ll write some more later. Thanks for reading this post. Since 2019 I lost 27 friends and family. Isn’t that enough???
    #LymeWarrior #PTSD #LivingWithPOTS #PudendalNeuralgia #ChildhoodAbuse

    17 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Guide to being a SURVIVOR!

    <p>Guide to being a SURVIVOR!</p>
    9 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Your parent's relationship with each other can affect your mental health

    Today's podcast guest, speaks with me about how living in a chaotic, dysfunctional household impacted her mental health and how she began to heal in her adult years.

    Listen to today's episode to hear about Erika's journey with her physical and mental health and her relationship with her parents. I'm sure a lot of people will relate to this.

    #dysfunctional #dysfunctionalhousehold #ToxicMarriage #Toxic #ChildhoodAbuse #podcastepisode

    Bree O'Boyle

    My Mother Lost Custody of Me Because She's Disabled

    When I was about 4 or 5 years old, my biological parents filed for divorce. At this point, they’d been married around 10 years. They got married on August 23rd, 1986, and when I watched their wedding video, it seemed like my mom was over the moon in love with my dad. It was my mom’s first marriage, but my dad had already been married and divorced once before with a son from his first marriage — my brother. I came along about five years into their marriage and — according to my aunt — after quite a bit of fertility treatment. My mom wanted me — even though she knew there was a really good chance that I would be disabled. I never knew that until recently because I was brought up on lie after lie from my dad. My mom was 25 when she got married and 29 when she had me. She was a really great mom from what I can remember. Of course, this is now that I’m an adult and have brought up years of memories from before my dad got custody. My dad is a man who is known to have a fuse shorter than I am — which is pretty damn short — and he already abandoned one child from his previous marriage. As it turns out, he had two more children we didn’t even know about. He somehow got full physical custody and joint legal custody of me — a small child with complex medical needs. He had no experience, no support, and on a good day, he was flying by the seat of his pants. My early memories of my parents are honestly a bit muddled. I remember my dad laying around a lot complaining about how tired he was and constantly falling asleep and snoring loudly during whatever movie or TV show I was trying to watch. My mom, on the other hand, was always trying to figure out things to keep me busy: books, projects, coloring, and crafts. She was the queen of being over-prepared. I often had to be in the car for hours in order to go to my medical appointments a few states away, but she would always make sure we had a car version of my favorite games. I also had this little troll tape player where she’d recorded a cassette of her reading my favorite bedtime stories. I had cassettes of some of my favorite songs too. My mom made those trips bearable for me as a small child. She also made sure I always ate the right foods, got my vitamins in, and brushed my teeth, and she would sit and do my homework with me. She’d even take the time to read my terrible handwriting so she could understand what I was trying to say. Why then, you might ask, did my dad — who never even knew my favorite color, made me a meal, or stayed awake long enough to play a game with me — get full control of me as a child? Here is the truth: My mom was disabled. You see, both my mom and I have dwarfism. My mom was on SSI most of her life. She tried to get the odd job, but her body often gave out right when she needed it most at her jobs, and then she would have to go back on SSI. However, she was completely capable of being a mom. If you ask anyone who really knew her, they’d say I could not have asked for a better mom, even though for a long time I disagreed with them. My dad had me convinced for a long time that my mom was the worst — a terrible person who had ruined my childhood and stolen my dreams. This, however, was far from the truth. The question on many people’s minds was how my dad had convinced the family court of the fantasy that my mom was a terrible parent and he could take care of me. The truth is, he didn’t have to. My mom was in her mid-30s at the time and she was on SSI. She was disabled. According to a report by the National Council on Disability, 13 percent of parents with disabilities lost custody of their children, and parents who have physical disabilities are more likely to be treated with discrimination in a divorce case where child custody is involved. 13 percent might not seem high, but it is when you are part of the 13 percent who lose their child or children simply for being disabled. Could you imagine having your entire parenting career judged solely on something completely out of your control? From what I can remember, my mom was great. She had her flaws too, but doesn’t every parent? Every year I was with her, I earned “A” grades in school. I also had no major discipline problems. As soon as my dad got custody of me, though, I was constantly in the school nurse’s office in school for one ailment or another. I was constantly sick, but honestly, I think I just missed my mom. To this day, my father is an incredibly spiteful man. Do I think he wanted to gain custody of his youngest daughter just to spite his ex-wife and potentially ruin whatever relationship we had? Yes, I do believe he would stoop that low. My dad didn’t have his own place or even a steady source of income when he was granted custody of me. He was living with his parents “temporarily” while he found something better. It was a completely inaccessible house where I didn’t even have my own bed for months. If I had been allowed to stay with my mom, I would’ve lived in a mortgage-free house, had my own bedroom, been fed a balanced diet, and been able to see my dog — who I adored more than I can say. My dad somehow managed to even take away my mom’s visitation rights not much further down the road. It started out with “supervised visitation” with my mom, but then visitation stopped altogether. My memories of my mom started to fade, and my young mind was easily twisted against her. I feel terrible about this now. She passed away last May on Mother’s Day around 8:00 a.m. She finally lost her battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and depression, and her body just shut down. I remember my mom laughing and making funny faces when I was growing up, but when I last saw her coherent, she was a shadow of her former self. She was not smiling or laughing but instead lying in a hospital bed in a local nursing home. She was not one who accepted pity, but honestly, she didn’t look like the mom I remembered. I still love my mom dearly and miss her more than words can say. I never got a chance to completely mend my relationship with her and for that, I will always be filled with regret. What I hope to bring to light is that parents with disabilities are losing their kids to less fit parents because people with disabilities are still being discriminated against in court. When I was 16, my dad allowed an infection in my leg to almost kill me, claiming I was being “overly dramatic” when “Ghostbusters-colored” goo started oozing from a hole in my leg. My mom, on the other hand, would rush me to the ER even if I twisted an ankle — which I did often as a kid — to make sure I didn’t break anything. My mom was an amazing, grade-A mom.  She was the kind of mom you make cheesy “World’s Best Mom” cards and horribly cute macaroni art for in elementary school. Instead, though, I was stuck with a man who thought that bringing a young child to his latest drunken conquest’s house was OK. My mom would’ve flipped her lid if I told her things like this, but I was young and impressionable, so I thought my parents could do no wrong. That was my mistake. I’m sorry I didn’t fight harder back then, Mom. I miss you.

    Community Voices

    Stressed about family dynamic and speaking up for myself

    I've come to realize that both of my parents have narcissistic tendencies, but they're intertwined with their views about religion and the Bible. For instance, I was told repeatedly in my life "Is this the person you want to be? Do you think this is how God wants you to be?" followed by a lecture usually involving scripture and prayer. I'm finally standing up for myself more, which can sometimes turn into a meltdown because my parents do not try to hear me out and I get frustrated. My dad tried to teach me to be unconditionally respectful of everyone my whole life but that's just not for me. Im not gonna respect you if you bully and tease me. Unfortunately, I have to live at home currently at 25 years old because Im in school and can't afford to move out any time soon. Any advice on how to stand up for myself while still respecting that my parents are letting me live here? #CheckInWithMe #ChildhoodAbuse #PTSD #CPTSD #ADHD

    20 people are talking about this